It is, apparently, the time to be in the urgent care business. Just months ago, patients came in at a steady pace with sprains and minor injuries, requests for flu shots and occupational drug testing. There was perhaps the odd patient seeking low-cost and fast STD testing (or STD testing kits). Now, the 129,043 doctors, nurses, and administrative staff members working at urgent care centers and community health clinics across the U.S. easily have their hands full as patients flock in, fearing that they are showing signs of Ebola or Enterovirus D68.
Are Urgent Care And Low Cost Health Clinics Prepared For Ebola?
Just like U.S. hospitals, 24 hour walk in clinics know that it is a possibility that they may have to diagnose and/or treat patients with Ebola in the coming months. And, like hospitals, they are preparing for that possibility. The Urgent Care Association of America is educating and preparing centers all over the country, and centers are ready to transfer patients exhibiting signs or symptoms of Ebola to emergency rooms immediately.
Is A Community Health Clinic The Solution To A Fast Enterovirus D68 Diagnosis?
What about Enterovirus D68? Walk in clinics and urgent health care centers all over the U.S. are seeing a surge of parents bringing their young ones in, hoping that the doctors will diagnose children with anything but the sometimes deadly virus. But is it better to go to an urgent care center instead of your primary physician? In some cases, the answer is yes. Just over a quarter (29%) of traditional doctors offer after hours care. Urgent care facilities, on the other hand, typically open early in the morning and stay open until late at night. Some centers even remain open 24 hours a day. If your child starts exhibiting symptoms early in the morning, late at night, or on holidays or weekends, a community health center is your best option.
Three million Americans visit urgent care facilities in a typical week — and that number is growing rapidly, thanks to Ebola and Enterovirus D68.